Hottest Onboarding Trends That Will Shape 2023

by Pranav Ramesh
January 24, 2023
3 Digital Onboarding Trends To Watch In 2023

One of the biggest challenges businesses faced in 2022 was finding and keeping skilled workers to fill necessary positions. And, unfortunately, this trend is likely to extend into 2023 and beyond, according to over 1,300 C-suite executives surveyed in a recent Protiviti study 

In their desire to attract candidates, employers are bearing an unintended financial burden – the cost of vacancies. If you want to know exactly how much your vacancies are costing you, the Society for Human Resource Management (SRHM) has a formula, but they found the average vacancy costs roughly $4,100 over the typical 42-day time-to-hire across all industries.  

This challenge is coupled with a talent pool that has the luxury of being selective about their job prospects – is it any wonder that organizations are spending a lot of time, money, and resources to attract talent? With so much energy spent on finding talent, many employers have de-emphasized other areas.  

The most notable being onboarding 

Approximately 35% of companies invest nothing into onboarding. Why invest to hire if there is no or little effort into successfully integrating that hire into your organization? Consider this, the majority of turnover happens within the first year – up to 20% in the first 45 days and another 31% before the 6-month mark.  

Keep in mind, one of the most significant challenges facing employers is finding AND keeping employees. To fill the talent gap, many organizations are reskilling employees to fill key roles. And while that may help bolster retention numbers, too many are forgetting that retention starts on day one.  

An effective onboarding program not only benefits the incoming team member, but also helps a company’s bottom line. Employees are 69% more likely to stay with a company if they had a good onboarding experience. And 78% of employers who invest in onboarding see increased revenues.  

Whether you’re looking to enhance and improve your existing onboarding program or start one for the first time, you’re going to need to know the latest trends. Here are three you need to be familiar with as we head into 2023.  

 

RELATED POST: Predictive Modeling Hiring: The Key to Talent Acquisition Success

 

Preboarding 

Onboarding, or at least the initial stages of it, involves a lot of paperwork. Tax forms, disclosures, agreements, background checks…there’s a steady supply of documents new hires must complete and sign. Unfortunately for all parties involved, this part of the new-hire process is boring and unavoidable. Even more unfortunate is that it is the primary portion of nearly 60% of organizations’ onboarding experience.  

To help create a clear delineation between the paperwork and an organization’s onboarding program, there has been a rise in preboarding. Preboarding is the idea that all or most of the tedious paperwork is completed on a new hire’s own time either before the first day, or during the first week for less time-sensitive documents.  

Preboarding allows for an employee’s first days to be about integrating with their team, the company, and their place within the organization.  

Personalization 

According to Charles Cagle, SVP of Human Capital Management at Infor: 

“A successful onboarding process should accelerate new hire time-to-productivity, improve job satisfaction, and reduce administrative burden, most often accomplished by supplying the employee with a personalized new hire experience.”  

Cagle is advocating for presenting a new hire with only those materials that are relevant to their specific role in the company or some aspect thereof. But personalization can and should go even beyond that.  

Onboarding should be as specifically tailored as possible for the best possible new-hire experience. Facilitating introductions with team members, outlining workflows and progress standards, or simply regular communication with new hires – personalizing onboarding makes new employees feel more welcome and improves their experience, which in turn boosts engagement, productivity, and the likelihood the employee isn’t temporary.  

Socialization 

It shouldn’t take scientists to tell us that teams who get along are more productive. Indeed, the benefits of a healthy team are numerous – better problem-solving, increased potential for innovation, happier team members, and less burnout, to name a few. Socialization in onboarding is integrating your new hire into the team as quickly and seamlessly as possible.  

One onboarding technique that companies are using to increase the speed at which new hires are integrated into the team is the buddy system. A “buddy” is a go-to person that helps new employee navigate their new working environment, helping provide context.  

Microsoft has been using the buddy program for a few years with remarkable success. They found that 56% of new hires who met with their onboarding buddy at least once in the first 90 days said it helped them integrate and become more productive faster. That percentage jumps the more interactions a new hire and their buddy have, up to 97% if they meet eight or more times.  

A staggering 87% of organizations say that buddy programs boost new hire proficiency.  

Conclusion 

Onboarding should be more than simply handing a new employee a stack of documents to sign, giving them a copy of the employee handbook, and having them watch a few training videos. Instead, onboarding can be a terrific opportunity for you as an employer to build a company-wide culture of welcoming new people to the team while preparing them appropriately for what’s to come. Studies show repeatedly that this will only serve to improve employee retention- and your company’s bottom line.  

 

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